I never had the exciting revelation when hearing the gospel. My dad was a pastor when I was small, and I always knew of God. I never doubted his existence, his power, his knowledge. I knew the Earth was his, I know I am his. I know he gave me the Bible, which he spoke and breathed, and I know it to be true.
When I was 17, my church back home taught me something new. There’s knowing of God and there’s knowing God. I was taught that we are called to know Him. To have a relationship with Him. So I set out learning who He was, because that’s how we know people here. We learn who they are, what the believe.
When I set out to know my husband, I wanted to learn what traits he had. Most of that was expressed through his likes. He loves to read translates to he pursues knowledge. He loves calculus and chemistry and physics should have translated to, he’s too smart for you and you have nothing in common. But it didn’t, it just told me he is smart. He loves music told me he was going to have a tricky time telling me how he was feeling but I could check out his last listen on Pandora and I might be able to figure it out.
What did I know about God? What could I discern of His character from the Bible?
That last one caught me. It’s a tale as old as time. God is love. We teach our children “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so.”
I didn’t believe that. I couldn’t sit here and tell you I did. It would be the biggest lie I’ve ever told. I did not believe that a God who could be described as all of those things could possibly in his right mind love me. Me. Broken me.
Sermons were preached of grace and redemption. My cleanness. My newness. But I didn’t feel that. Because I wasn’t. In order to be those things you have to believe the Gospel. I didn’t. I believed in God. I believed Jesus came and did miraculous things like die on a cross and come back to life. But I didn’t believe He did it for me.
I believe He made me and knew me before my parents could hear my heartbeat. But I didn’t believe that He could love me. And if there’s anything I’ve learned at the church we go to here in Hawaii(I’ve learned a lot), you have to believe it all. You can’t pick and choose what the Bible has to say. You can’t make it say what you want. It says what God wants and you have to find a way in your own heart, soul, and mind (with the help of the Holy Spirit) to believe it to be true. Because it is true. And I am not.
Then i started to read a devotional. It shed light on something I never noticed before. It took me to creation. When God created, what did he say when each creation day was complete.
It was good.
What does the Bible say about creation of man?
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
Genesis 1:27-31 ESV
He described the oceans and mountains and stars in the sky as good. He described majestic elephants and beautiful oak trees as good. And He gave it to mankind to care for and called it very good.
He trusted mankind with this precious Earth. The mighty sea and the glorious mountains are mine to take care of, I inherited it, the Bible tells me so. This task was passed on because The male and female He created in His likeness are from whom I descend.
He called Earth and the Universe Good.
He created Me in His image.
Mankind fell from grace, which puts me here, where I am now. Struggling to understand how a perfect and beautiful God could love my brokenness.
But I have one truth now to help me see that love. It’s in creation. I was designed for perfection. Not in the world. But I have a divine promise of that beauty and grace. I have the keys to the kingdom if I can believe that He loves Me.
The next truth I found was in John 3:16. A bible verse I memorized for a jolly rancher at Awana at Grace Bible Church. Mr. Rotteire I took Gods word and hid it in my heart and it’s here still today.
“For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not parish but have everlasting life”
You probably went into autopilot reading that.
Read it again. Slowly.
For God so loved the world that he gave STOP
I’m a mom now. I wasn’t when I learned that verse. And I don’t think you have to be a mom to understand, because you have one.
I grew a person. Hands, heart, brain, eyes. All those miraculous things that just work. I grew 4 persons. I have lines on my tummy to tell you so. And I have shadows under my eyes to tell you so. I have spit up on my shirt to tell you so. And tears on my fingers. And germs on my lips from kissing owies.
My body gave to grow them. I gave them life, quite literally. With help, of course, from my husband and a divine creator.
I gave them food from my body. I give them hugs and kisses everyday. I give them direction and guidance. I give them an ear when they want to tell me for the 400th time that there’s a lizard (or a wizard, depends on who is doing the talking) on the ceiling.
I give to them with no intent to receive anything back.
I cannot guarantee that when they’re grown they will love me. I cannot know that they will speak to me on occasion or daily. I cannot know that they will forgive me for every failure they witness me perform.
They will know that when they’re grown I love them and have always loved them.
They will know that I want to speak with them daily, if they choose.
They will know that I forgive them for every failure I witnessed them perform.
I should know that God loves me and has always loved me.
I should know that He wants to speak with me daily, every moment, if I so choose.
I should know that He forgives me for every failure He’s seen me perform and every failure He knows is coming.
How much more beautiful is the last set than the first. The love a mother has for her children is iconic. It’s used over and over to show selflessness. Unconditional.
It was designed by the Master. It is modeled after the most divine design.
For God so loved the world he gave.
With no intent that He should receive.
That’s Love. Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
He wants us. Whether or not you’ve experienced a healthy relationship with your mother, (she can’t know that you’ll forgive her for all her failures), a relationship with Him is perfect. There is no flaw from His end. He didn’t fail you. He gave without expectation. He loves you.